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Last Updated: Tuesday, 16 May 2006, 18:11 GMT 19:11 UK
French sand for landslip scheme
by Thelma Etim
BBC News, Dorset

Lyme Regis
The work aims to stop the land disappearing into the sea
When tourists take a leisurely stroll across Lyme Regis' quintessentially English beaches, they will be padding in the future across French sand.

Children's sand castles will be made with some of the 30,000 tonnes of northern French sand being imported to protect homes from coastal erosion.

Also, the cliff face is to be strengthened with 36,000 tonnes of Larvikite rock from Norway, while the edges of a new sea wall will boast aesthetically-pleasing grey-coloured granite from China and Portugal.

The materials must be similar to the existing historical colour scheme
Nick Browning, the Lyme Regis project manager

In addition, 70,000 tonnes of shingle from the Isle of Wight will make up the British contribution to the 16m government-funded land stabilisation and coast protection programme.

The ambitious scheme - aimed at replenishing the beach and halting further soil erosion - has been funded by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.

Nick Browning, the Lyme Regis project manager, said the deciding factors on sourcing the materials for the project were a similar appearance to the existing settings, along with consistency, durability and the correct price.

"The sand had to be a strictly specific particle size, colour, with the correct properties.

Lyme's famous old Cobb.
Lyme's famous old Cobb is steeped in history

"Another factor was the supply route - the sand was quarried near Caen and could be shipped across the channel very conveniently.

"We looked at sand in the UK but found it did not have the correct properties we needed."

Mr Brown added that the Norwegian rock was of a "high quality used for ornamental masonry".

"Appearance is extremely important to the Lyme Regis project," he added.

"The materials must be similar to the existing historical colour scheme."

Jurassic landslip plan unveiled
24 Feb 05 |  Dorset

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